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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

James Comey
Director of the FBI
CSPAN 01/29/2014
Wyden: I would like to ask you about the government’s authority to track individuals using things like cell site location information and smart phone applications. Last fall the NSA Director testified that we, the NSA, identify a number, we could give that to the FBI. When they get their probable cause, then they can get the locational information they need. I’ve been asking the NSA to publicly clarify these remarks but it has not happened yet. So is the FBI required to have probable cause in order to acquire American’s cell site location information for intelligence purposes? Comey: I don’t believe so Senator. In almost all circumstances we have to obtain a court order but the showing is a reasonable basis to believe relevant to the investigation. Wyden: So you don’t have to show probable cause.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
CSPAN 01/29/2014
Wyden: So you don’t have to show probable cause. You have sited another. Is that standard different if the government is collecting the location information from a smart phone app rather than a cell phone tower? Comey: I don’t think I know. I probably ought to ask someone who is smarter on what the standard is that governs those. I don’t know the answer sitting here. Wyden: My time is up. Can I have an answer to that within a week? Comey: You sure can.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
CSPAN 01/29/2014
Comey: I totally understand people’s concerns and questions about them. They’re reasonable questions. I believe it is a useful tool. For the FBI it’s primary value is agility. That is, it allows us to do in minutes what would otherwise take us an hour. So now I’ll explain what I mean by that. If a terrorist is identified in the United States, or something blows up in the United States, we want to understand, OK is there's a network that we’re facing here. And we take any telephone numbers connected to that terrorist, to that attack, in the absence of 215, is use the legal process that we use everyday. Either grand Jury subpoenas or National Security letters. And by subpoenaing each of the telephone companies, I would assemble a picture of whether there is a network connected to the terrorist. That would take hours.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
CSPAN 01/29/2014
Comey: What this tool allows us to do is do that in minutes. In most circumstances, the difference between hours and minutes isn’t going to be material, except when it matters most. And so it’s a useful tool to me because of the agility it offers. And so I think it’s a healthy discussion to talk what might replace that. I want folks to understand what the trade-off would be in that diminusion, in that agility. That is what matters most to the FBI.
James Comey
Director of the FBI
CSPAN2 02/04/2014
Rogers: There have been discussions about selling of access to this material to both newspaper outlets and other places. Mr. Comey, to the best of your knowledge is fencing stolen material, is that a crime? Comey: Yes, it is. Rogers: And would be selling the access of classified material that is stolen from the United States government, would that be a crime? Comey: It would be. It's an issue that can be complicated if it involves a news gathering news promulgation function, but in general fencing or selling stolen property is a crime. Rogers: So if I am a news report for fill in the blank and I sell stolen material is that legal because I am a newspaper reporter? Comey: Right, if you’re a newspaper reporter and you’re hawking stolen jewelry it’s as a crime.
Mike Rogers
Representative (R-Mich.), Chair, House Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN2 02/04/2014
Rogers: If I am hawking stolen classified material that I’m not legally in possession of for personal gain and profit, is that not a crime? Comey: I think that's a harder question because it involves a news gathering function. Could have first amendment implications. It’s something probably be better answered by the Dept. of Justice. Rogers: So entering into a commercial enterprise to sell stolen material is acceptable to a legitimate news organization? Comey: I’m not sure I’m able to answer that question in the abstract. Rogers: It’s something we should think about, is it not? Comey: Certainly. Rogers: And so If there are accomplices in purveying stolen information shouldn't we be concerned about that? Comey: We should be concerned about all of the facts surrounding the theft of classified information and it’s promulgation.
Mike Rogers
Representative (R-Mich.), Chair, House Select Committee on Intelligence
CSPAN2 02/04/2014
Rogers: And interesting, over the, again, the Munich conference where we had individuals tell us that in fact there are individuals who are saying to be in possession of this information who are eager to sell this information to other news organizations. Would that be a legitimate exercise on behalf of a reporter? Comey: That’s a question now you’re getting from the general to the particular. I don’t want to talk about the case in particular cause it’s an active investigation of ours. Rogers: It’s an active investigation for accomplices brokering in stolen information? Comey: We are looking at the totality of the circumstances around the theft and promulgation. Rogers: That’s very interesting.
Jack Goldsmith
Office of Legal Counsel, 2003-2007
KQED 05/13/2014
Narrator: That afternoon, President Bush reauthorized the program. At the Justice Department, Jack Goldsmith prepared his resignation letter. Goldsmith: I had drafted my resignation letter and was prepared to resign, and I was sure I was going to resign that day. It was inconceivable to me, based on what had happened the last two days, that I wouldn't resign. Narrator: Dozens of top DOJ officials threatened to join him, including FBI Director Mueller and even Acting Attorney General Comey. Comey's letter of resignation: "And I would never be part of something that I believe to be fundamentally wrong. With a heavy heart and undiminished love of my country and my department, I resign as deputy attorney general of the United States, effective immediately. Sincerely yours, James B. Comey."
George W Bush
President 2000-2008
KQED 05/13/2014
Gellman: nearly the entire political appointment list at the Justice Department, from the attorney general on down (would resign). And no president could survive that in an election year. Narrator: The next morning, the President decided to have a private talk with Acting Attorney General Comey. Gellman: After the national security briefing, Bush says to Comey, "Stay a minute. Come talk to me." And Cheney starts to follow, and Bush says, "No, no, this is just the two of us." And he says, "What's going on here? How could you possibly do something of this importance at the very last minute?" Comey suddenly realizes that the president had no idea what had been happening. The president thinks this just began yesterday. He doesn't know it's been going on for three months. And so he says, "Mr. President, if that's what you've been told, you have been very poorly served by your advisors."
Raul Labrador
Representative (R-ID)
CSPAN3 06/13/2014
Labrador: Now severe abuses of this program have actually come to light, including NSA analysts listening to overseas calls of U.S. soldiers to their girlfriends and wives in the states. But when the wiretapping was challenged the solicitor general promised the Supreme Court that if any of the info was ever used in a court, the defendant would be notified. But last year Reuters report found that DOJ officials are using NSA gathered intelligence as leads for criminal cases without informing the defendant of the origin of the case and misleading federal prosecutors about it’s origins. Do you believe that such use of NSA intercepts are lawful? Comey: That's a complicated question, one I'm trying to parse to make sure I don't talk about anything classified in an open setting.
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